“Local politicians like to get in bed with local business, and taxpayers are usually the losers. So three cheers for a voter revolt in Wichita, Kansas last week that shows such sweetheart deals can be defeated.” So starts today’s Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook editorial (subscription required), taking notice of the special election last week in Wichita.
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal is one of the most prominent voices for free markets and limited government in America. Over and over Journal editors expose crony capitalism and corporate welfare schemes, and they waste few words in condemning these harmful practices.
The three Republican members of the Wichita City Council who consider themselves fiscal conservatives but nonetheless voted for the corporate welfare that voters rejected — Pete Meitzner (district 2, east Wichita), James Clendenin (district 3, southeast and south Wichita), and Jeff Longwell (district 5, west and northwest Wichita) — need to consider this a wake up call. These members, it should be noted, routinely vote in concert with the Democrats and liberals on the council.
For good measure, we should note that Sedgwick County Commission Republicans Dave Unruh and Jim Skelton routinely — but not always — vote for these crony capitalist measures.
The Wichita business community, headed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce endorsed this measure, too.
Hopefully this election will convince Wichita’s political and bureaucratic leaders that our economic development policies are not working. Combined with the startling findings by a Tax Foundation and KMPG study that finds Kansas lags near the bottom of the states in tax costs to business, the need for reform of our spending and taxing practices couldn’t be more evident. It is now up to our leaders to find within themselves the capability to change — or we all shall suffer.
Someone needs to take the Wichita Chamber to task. While they can support growth they need to keep their noses out of politics and candidate endorsementsof the past. Who the heck do they think they are?
The Wichita Chamber are the elite who know what is good for us. Mr. Meitzner and Clenedin will become more conservative as their elections draw near. Mr. Longwell is in trouble in West Wichita with the vote NO voters (only won three precincts) will get his retirement from politics when he runs in the County primary against Peterjohn.
And the Chamber wonders why membership is down!
The yes vote won only two precincts in west Wichita: 510 and 511 and these are both within the square mile that is more commonly known as Reflection Ridge. Both of these precincts gave only about a 53% margin but the rich folks in this development like to give away other people’s money. The Reflection folk should be careful because if the regime in DC knows about their desire to have government take away rich people’s money, they can go to the top of the obamanation’s rich people’s money grab list (unless they have donated the maximum to the regime’s reelection and then they’ll get a White House banquet invite or get to play a round of golf with Alinsky’s messiah).
Thus the Great Divide: west side vs Eastside